How can i manage my life now that I have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease?. Although there is no cure, you can treat your symptoms and learn to manage your disease, so you can still enjoy life. It is important, though, to see a doctor who specializes in these types of diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body's immune system reacts against itself and produces antibodies to attack its own healthy cells and tissue. Autoimmune disorders can be directed mainly at one part of the body, such as the thyroid gland or the pancreas, or they can spread widely throughout the body, as in the case of diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
Symptoms vary depending on which autoimmune disease you have, the most common that is shared among the autoimmune disorders are joint pain and fatigue.
RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) joint pain, joint deformities, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.
MS(multiple sclerosis) numbness and tingling in the extremeties, difficulty with balance and coordination, problems with walking or speaking, tremors, and even paralysis.
Lupus - joint pain, swelling, skin rashes, fatigue, sensitivity to sun, purple fingers or toes from cold or stress, and swelling in the legs or around the eyes.
Type1 Diabetes elevated blood sugar, fatigue, increased thirst and urination, nausea, vomiting, increased appetite, and weight loss
Graves Disease(overactive thyroid) insomnia, irritability, unexplained weight loss, weakness, bulging eyes,shaky hands, brittle hair.
Hashimotos Thyroiditis (under-active) tiredness, cold sensitivity, weight gain, weakness, tough skin, constipation, and depression
Ulcerative Colitis - diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, skin lesions, and joint pain.
Who is at risk?
Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families, with women more likely than men to develop an autoimmune disorder.
There is no cure however with treatment you can still lead a full life. Treatments depend on which autoimmune disorders you have but range from antiinflamatories, insulin, and synthetic thyroid pills.
How do I know if I have an autoimmune disease?
If you suspect you may have an autoimmune disorder the doctor will likely start out conducting a physical exam and taking your personal and family medical history. Test may be run to rule out other conditions.
There is no definitive diagnostic test for autoimmune disorders for the most part. Blood tests, x-rays, ct scans, or MRI's may help in determining some of the autoimmune disorders.
Should I see a doctor and when?
If you experience any of the symptoms of an autoimmune disorders it is wise to see the doctor as soon as possible. Putting it off only runs the risk of having symptoms worsen or do permanent damage to your body.